RL Grime—His real name is Henry Steinway.
  • RL Grime—His real name is Henry Steinway.

You're at the club, you're extremely well-groomed, and you're caked in so much fragrance that raccoons in Klickitat County think a barge of Drakkar Noir has run aground at Cal Anderson Park. You ingest an $11 vodka Red Bull and slide to the dance floor like a cobra. RL Grime's gusty, crystallized "Amphibian" swishes solidly out of the speakers. This is the sound of the selfie, and it's time to display to potential mates that your vibe couldn't be righter. Grime's sonic ingredients set you up well—the glide of rave, the tonnage of Southern rap beats, and the game (shame) of meathead trap. Your moves are succinct demonstrations of pelvic knowledge. Next up on the system is the harder-hitting "Valhalla" off Grime's new album, Void. You let out an eighth of a twerk, and then it's the build. Feel it ascend—whap whap whap whap, tat-tat-tat-tat, ta-ta-ta-ta shuffffle. Then the moment of silence, the hesitation, and the drop. The room loses it when the beat kicks in. Vodka Red Bulls spill everywhere. People fall and flail. This is what you've worked for—this losing it. The room combusts in selfies, sex explodes, and you dance like a condor. Twenty-three-year-old RL Grime (born Henry Steinway—yes, as in the piano) spoke from his hometown of Los Angeles.

What's the greatest number of selfies you've ever seen someone take during one song?

Support The Stranger

Sometimes people get on a roll, you know. Where it's nothing but selfies. A number? I'd say 10? Or 15? Maybe higher...


Read article »